Movement Mortgage donates $22 million for charter school expansion in Charlotte - Movement Mortgage Blog

Movement Mortgage, one of the nation’s largest retail mortgage lenders, is honored to announce a $22 million investment to support the expansion of charter schools in Charlotte, North Carolina. 

Following a record-breaking year of business growth in 2019, Movement will significantly invest to expand access to high-quality educational options through public charter schools in communities across Charlotte. This marks the largest single nonprofit distribution in Movement’s history. It is also among the largest contributions to educational nonprofit work at one time on record in Charlotte. The money will go toward the following:

  • Expansion of Movement School Freedom Drive to include a middle school, preschool, community gymnasium and other enhancements.
  • Construction and development of Movement School Eastland, a new elementary school campus set to open in fall 2020. 
  • Application and site selection process for two additional Movement School campuses in the Charlotte metro. 

“From day one, this has been the vision,” says Movement Mortgage co-founder and CEO Casey Crawford. “Movement is built on the principle that our business success shouldn’t end with our profit, but instead, that our profit should build something of generational significance in our communities. By investing in education, we are telling our children that they are all full of God-given potential, they are all worthy, they are all important and they all deserve a world-class school.”

Movement Schools are a network of public, tuition-free charter schools serving students and families in North Carolina. The schools are designed to prepare children for success in college, careers and life by providing world-class academic and character education in an environment built to love and value children. The campuses are designed as community hubs, located in renovated big-box retail shopping centers, with a goal of becoming anchors that will attract other community investment such as affordable housing, health care, small business and nonprofit organizations. 

Movement School Freedom Drive 

  • Inaugural campus opened its doors in fall 2017 with grades K-2, adding one grade and 100 students each year since. The school now serves grades K-4 with more than 500 students. 
  • In 2019, Movement School received nearly 700 applications for 150 available seats, and 200 applications for 13 open teaching positions.
  • Led by school director Jamie Sumter, this campus focuses on character and academics and has a nearly 90% student retention rate.
  • Expansion will include construction of a new middle school campus and preschool, allowing the school to serve more than 850 students in grades pre-K to 8 at full capacity. 

Movement School Eastland

  • Second Movement School campus is taking applications and will open in fall 2020 with grades K-1. The school will add an additional grade and 100 students every year until serving grades K-8. 
  • Located near the former Eastland Mall site with construction underway to transform a vacant grocery store into a world-class campus with room for classroom and community uses.
  • Led by school director Barbara Robinson, this campus will reflect the unique cultural and economic diversity of Charlotte’s eastside. 
  • Additional space will be made available on the same site for a medical clinic, preschool and a Forest Hill Church satellite campus.

Movement School future campuses

  • Movement School is actively working to open two additional campuses in the Charlotte metro area.
  • Next steps include the application process for additional school charters from the North Carolina State Board of Education and identifying and purchasing real estate for schools. 

“Our goal is to work with state and local partners to give neighborhoods more options for education and enrichment,” says Tim Hurley, director of education for Movement Foundation. “Now, we are able to expand that vision even further. We are so encouraged by the growth we have seen in our students, but we are also thrilled to see our families create a thriving school community that doesn’t quit when the final bell rings.”

This latest round of funding was made possible by Movement Mortgage’s ongoing transfer of equity to the nonprofit Movement Foundation from its founders. Movement Foundation is the majority equity owner of Movement Mortgage. Movement’s $22 million investment was paid out as a dividend from Movement Mortgage to the foundation. Movement Foundation will purchase real estate and construct built-to-suit facilities for Movement Schools.


Rendering for Movement School Freedom Drive middle school expansion
Rendering for Movement School Freedom Drive gym

About the Author:

Jennifer Bates

Jennifer is the Communications Manager at Movement Mortgage. When she's not taking her dog Maddux on a hike in the North Carolina mountains or to the dog park, she competes in powerlifting and strongman.